Private Edward Charles McAuley


Edward Charles McAuley was born on 14 November 1895 in Letterkenny, County Donegal, the sixth or seventh of twelve children of merchant David McAuley and his wife Jane Anne (née Williams). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 28 Main Street, Letterkenny, with his parents and six of his seven surviving siblings. Soon after he commenced an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic.

McAuley enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Londonderry on 7 October 1914 (No.1285). On 19 October he was awarded three days' confined to barracks for being absent without leave for a day. After training at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp, on 28 April 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons.

In August that year, however, McAuley fell ill. He was admitted to No.5 General Hospital at Rouen, where he was found to be suffering from epilepsy. On 19 August he was evacuated to England, where he was admitted to Wharncliffe War Hospital in Sheffield. A medical report later that month recommended that he be discharged as permanently unfit for military service:

According to the man's statement he had suffered from fits all his life. The medical man in attendance before enlisting called them 'epileptic fits'. ... According to a certificate brought with him from Rouen, he was seen in a typical epileptic fit by the doctor there.

McAuley was briefly posted to the regimental reserve at Antrim, where on 23 October 1915 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'good'. He was awarded a pension, as it was considered that his epilepsy had been aggravated by military service. As late as June 1922 his level of disability was assessed at 50 per cent.

Following his discharge McAuley returned to Letterkenny, where he resumed work as a mechanic. On 16 September 1924 he married Bridget Gallagher in the Letterkenny Roman Catholic Cathedral. He died in Letterkenny on 26 July 1977, aged 81, and was buried in the New Leck Cemetery.



Image sourced from the Find-a-Grave website.